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Old 10-15-2010, 09:59 PM   #1
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Kobo/Borders E-Book Prices Vs Amazon

I seem to remember a statement by the KOBO CEO that e-book prices would be lower than Amazon's.....

Last night I checked John Le Carre's "Our Kind of Traitor" and Lee Child's "Worth Dying For" across all three sites.

Amazon $11.99 each US (OZ dollar is now at parity)
Borders $21.14 and $21.60
Kobo $18.19 and $18.49

Needless to say, I bought from Amazon and converted to EPUB with Calibre - which is a task I find I need to do with all e-books anyway to get a decent layout for margins.

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Old 10-15-2010, 10:01 PM   #2
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With agency pricing now in place, ebook stores would find it hard to drop prices.

If you are savvy enough to be able to deDRM and convert to ePUB via Calibre then shopping around for a cheaper price in a different format is often the way to go.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:46 AM   #3
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Amazon is in an aggressive price war in some countries where there is no (or limited) agency pricing (at least it appears that way to me). The Le Carre novel is not available to Canadians on Kobo or Amazon. The Child book is 9.99 for Canadians on Amazon and not available on Kobo.

I don't know how it is in Australia, but often the big US publishers have Canadian "cousins" and separate arrangements have to be made with them in order to sell here.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:21 AM   #4
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Did anyone notice that books listed on Kobo are not even available on Borders? Makes me wonder if Kobo has a stable agreement with Borders. I wanted to buy a new book by Leslie Marmon Silko and Kobo has it but Borders does not. Prices for Penguin are set by the publisher, so I don't see any diff. in the 12.99 price across sites.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:35 AM   #5
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Don't limit yourself to just these three estores. Personally I could care less where the ebook comes from as long as I pay less for it. I am in the process of looking for a ebook publisher who is willing to sell for less. I need to learn about translating between different ebook format and deDRMing.

I guess this really depends on what you are looking for. I tend to be reading Andy Mc Dermott these days and I am getting consistently better prices from Borders then most other estores. I think the difference is that John is looking for a mainstream author and I am looking for a lesser known author. I think that the better known authors tend to be more expensive then the lesser known ones simply because they are better known. Hmm, I think that I am learning something here. I really do not like he prices on better known authors so I tend to be reading lesser known authors, who in my opinion, tend to be just as good as the better known ones but cost less to buy. Although I am still getting started among the lesser known authors my favorites tend to be Andy Mc Dermott and Don Pendleton.

Last edited by jbcohen; 10-20-2010 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:09 AM   #6
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Kobo sent me an email with some new releases the other day, the Jack Reacher novel included. This is for Canada. Price for the Reacher novel was $10.99 CAD, I think. Might have been $9.99.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:15 AM   #7
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Yeah--the new Reacher/Child novel appeared on Kobo a couple of days ago for 9.99 CAD.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:52 AM   #8
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And I just bought it for $8.99 CAD from the Kobo store as it was eligible for a $1 off code that they sent me in an email today!
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by peitsao View Post
Did anyone notice that books listed on Kobo are not even available on Borders? Makes me wonder if Kobo has a stable agreement with Borders. I wanted to buy a new book by Leslie Marmon Silko and Kobo has it but Borders does not. Prices for Penguin are set by the publisher, so I don't see any diff. in the 12.99 price across sites.
Yeah, what's the deal with this? It sucks because I have some books purchased from Borders and some from Kobo but if I want to use the Kobo format (instead of ePub) so it syncs and remembers where I am in a book with different devices (I also use my iPhone to read when it's inconvenient to bring my Kobo with me), I have to sync with the respective app, and it removes books purchased from the other store.

Example: I have The Talisman purchased from Borders and Snow Crash purchased from Kobo since Snow crash isn't available on the Borders store. If I want to read The Talisman I have to sync with the Borders app which deletes things purchased from the Kobo store on my reader.

Is this some kind of DRM thing? Why can't I have Kobo format books on my device from more than one store? Kobo makes a lot of big talk about how they're committed to openness and letting a user do what they want with their purchases but for some reason we have to put up with annoyances like this...

*waits for the Kobo Defence Force to come and tell him to just use ePub*

Last edited by dos; 10-23-2010 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dos View Post
Is this some kind of DRM thing? Why can't I have Kobo format books on my device from more than one store? Kobo makes a lot of big talk about how they're committed to openness and letting a user do what they want with their purchases but for some reason we have to put up with annoyances like this...

*waits for the Kobo Defence Force to come and tell him to just use ePub*
Warning: this post includes some wild speculation

Imagine that you are a member of a book club with eight members. Each person has his or her own Kobo reader, and each person has a Kobo account or a Borders account--whatever. If the Kobo could somehow sync books from several different accounts, then it would be possible for the eight book club members to take turns buying a single book, and then just let the other members of the club include that book in with his or her own. In eight months, each person could buy only one book yet have eight new reads. So from that perspective it surely could be said to be a DRM thing.

Now, that being said, is there a way that Kobo could verify that the Taming with the Kobo account and the Taming with the Borders are, in fact, the same person and somehow link the two--well, perhaps they could. The part missing from this happy circumstance could very well be financial.

Although Borders owns a percentage of Kobo, they are not one company. It is probably not to either Kobo or Border's advantage financially to make this kind of thing happen. The ability to sync from one account only can be a powerful reason to buy from only one bookseller--and Borders wants it to be Borders, whilst Kobo wants it to be Kobo. Heck, I would love it if the books I buy from Sony could sync, too, while we are at it.

Financial considerations aside, perhaps Kobo and Borders (in the US and Australia) and the other financial partners will, at some point, decide to have a common sync function for all the Kobo associated stores, but I'm guessing it is not all that high on anyone's list right now.

Here comes the ePUB defense part: Fortunately, there are other ways to load the books, so even if you can only sync with one store, you can still buy your books from two, or three, or four.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dos View Post
Yeah, what's the deal with this? It sucks because I have some books purchased from Borders and some from Kobo but if I want to use the Kobo format (instead of ePub) so it syncs and remembers where I am in a book with different devices (I also use my iPhone to read when it's inconvenient to bring my Kobo with me), I have to sync with the respective app, and it removes books purchased from the other store.
I do understand what the problem is. Number of applications to manage
separate particular items. The solution would be to have one with mixed
content and with all formats included into the game. Spite possible, I do
not expect anyone to jump in and match competition. There is a chance
to go around handling sqlite file, but it might be tricky, with a point where
you should reflash your reader. Putting bookmark is what bothers you,
and syncing those bookmarks. Great deal of testing goes with it and I
suppose only manufacturer has motive to invest time and effort.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by taming View Post
Warning: this post includes some wild speculation

Imagine that you are a member of a book club with eight members. Each person has his or her own Kobo reader, and each person has a Kobo account or a Borders account--whatever. If the Kobo could somehow sync books from several different accounts, then it would be possible for the eight book club members to take turns buying a single book, and then just let the other members of the club include that book in with his or her own. In eight months, each person could buy only one book yet have eight new reads. So from that perspective it surely could be said to be a DRM thing.

Now, that being said, is there a way that Kobo could verify that the Taming with the Kobo account and the Taming with the Borders are, in fact, the same person and somehow link the two--well, perhaps they could. The part missing from this happy circumstance could very well be financial.

Although Borders owns a percentage of Kobo, they are not one company. It is probably not to either Kobo or Border's advantage financially to make this kind of thing happen. The ability to sync from one account only can be a powerful reason to buy from only one bookseller--and Borders wants it to be Borders, whilst Kobo wants it to be Kobo. Heck, I would love it if the books I buy from Sony could sync, too, while we are at it.

Financial considerations aside, perhaps Kobo and Borders (in the US and Australia) and the other financial partners will, at some point, decide to have a common sync function for all the Kobo associated stores, but I'm guessing it is not all that high on anyone's list right now.
Everything you said could very well be the reason for this but it seems like it could be possible to tie your device(s) to multiple stores, but only one of each store. Maybe have some kind of account manager built into the Kobo's OS. It would be no different from where we're at now, just the Kobo is smart enough to deal with more than one store at a time. Each store itself thinks that one Kobo is actually being used for it's own store. Hard to explain, just pretend it's like multitasking or running in parallel. I'm not sure how a setup like this would allow people to share books.

Anyway, people interested in not paying for books or sharing their own books can just break DRM on ePubs and share away, so it's kind of moot. Again DRM only hurts people trying to use the device and stores within the boundaries of what is legal. DRM sucks and it's probably not Kobo's fault directly.

Quote:
Here comes the ePUB defense part: Fortunately, there are other ways to load the books, so even if you can only sync with one store, you can still buy your books from two, or three, or four.
Unfortunately, the way Kobo handles ePubs vs. it's own format is kind of clumsy. You can't sync your purchased ePubs to your account and thus can't use them within the Kobo desktop app, or iPhone/other smartphone apps.

For me, a large part of what makes Kobo awesome is the ability to read a book across multiple devices. I can use my reader at home or when I have my bag with me, my iPhone when I'm out somewhere and don't feel like carrying my stuff around, and the desktop app when I feel like reading on my monitor while I'm at work eating lunch or something.

I'm sure there's either:

1.) A way to be able to use multiple different stores on the same device. I don't profess to know how this would work, but I'm sure people smarter than me can figure out a way to do this while staying within the ridiculous boundaries of DRM and copyright laws imposed on us all by greedy fools.

2.) A way to use ePubs in the same manner as you would use the Kobo native format: the ability to place ePubs into the Kobo desktop app, and thus have them tied to your account in the cloud, accessible from any device where you can log in to your Kobo account This seems like the easiest way, and less likely to cause money grubbing content fascists to have conniptions.

I hope Kobo finds a way, it would go a long way towards their admirable goal of openness.

EDIT: Option 2 also has the added "benefit" of keeping the user locked in to one store, which will keep the capitalists happy.

Last edited by dos; 10-23-2010 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:15 PM   #13
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Okay so newbie here and looking to buy an e-reader. Most important for me is books and the price of buying them. Have no interest in downloading movies etc. So with the Kobo Vox I can download books from Kobo and if I read correctly I can download from Amazon and others if I load the right programs?

Is this easy? What are the drawbacks?
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:55 PM   #14
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If all you want is an eReader, the Touch might be a better choice; far longer battery life; better integration with tools like Adobe Digital Edition (ADE).

For conversion / book management, check out calibre (has it's own forum here), and, if you are buying books that have Digital Rights Management in them do a google search for "Apprentice Alf".
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